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I ran across these pictures in Joe Riley's "MEN-OO-SHE-A" blog a while back. I attempted to contact him to get permission to post the pictures here but never did hear back. I found out later that he had sadly passed away on September 27, 2007. Like the majority of Deal's Wheels collectors he was in his mid-40's, so it was quite unexpected. Based on messages posted in his blog after his passing (see bottom of this page), he was by all accounts a very nice guy and an outstanding artist. Certainly he was a very skilled model maker as evidenced by this beautiful Deal's Wheels Van creation! His weathering and attention to detail were truly outstanding. Fortunately Dave Deal was able to contact Joe before his passing and let him know how impressed he was with his Van rendition. Dave also told me that this is the closest he's ever seen someone get to his vision of what a Deal's Wheels build should look like.

Joe's blog is still on the 'net as of today, you can find it >HERE<

The page with the below Van pictures and description is >HERE<

Below is Joe's description in his own words of this awesome build. This was taken from his blog.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Deal's Wheels

A while back I showed some pics of a Rat Fink model I had done. I wrote that I'd show more of my kits, so here is one that I got out of storage and repaired a bit. This is from Revell's Deal's Wheels re-issue line from '96 called "Van". (another re-issue was Zzzzz-28 in '95) The originals were issued in 1970 and 1971, designed by Dave Deal and had titles like, Go-Mad Nomad, Stink Ray, Ferd Phoney Car, (a favorite, but hard to find), and Glitter Bug. There were 17 in all (18 if you count the Bug Bomb/Bug Out double issue), and all are awesome. At the time there were other Rat Fink/Odd Rod influenced designs on the market, like Zingers and such. More about those at BUBBLEGUM FINK.

I was obsessed with this stuff as a kid in the '70s, but the only one I ever put together (of the Dave Deal models) before this one, was the 80's re-issues of "Trans-Um Firebird" renamed "Funbird". This series was called Funsters.

Here's my "Van" by Dave Deal. A perfect choice from the 70's line....a cool VW van . I made mine a two tone beach cruiser who's kickin' up some sand. Click the pics for a good look.

The driver didn't have an arm that hung out the window...I built that out of epoxy to match the box art.

One of the things that broke off was the antennae. It was similar to the one on the dune buggy, "Glitter Bug". So I replaced it with some kit bashing and a length of music wire for a sturdy, but flexible antennae. Since it was metal, super glue or traditional model glue wasn't going to hold it in I used a tiny...tiny..bit of Gorilla Glue. Great stuff! I love those intakes on the sides!

Since he was "pullin' a wheelie", I bent the front axle a bit to show the weight and energy of the front tires.

In the front seat you kinda' can see an issue of CARtoons...

...and on the back glass is a Wacky Package sticker of "BustedFinger", one of my favorites.

The exhaust was molded in chrome, but I knew of a lot of enameled exhausts in the 70's and made this one white.You can see the tiny VW engine in the compartment. The tail lights were chrome already, but I added some 5 minute epoxy tinted red inside the trim.

I lost the other surfboard somewhere...but what would ONE dood do with two surfboards?

I finished the paint with chips and rust since this is an old cruiser and this guy lives close to the sea.

This particular design from the whole line, in my opinion, came out awesome and was real faithful to Dave's artwork. This shot looks very "Deal-ish"

Below are comments that were made in Joe's blog, clearly he is missed by many.

Jason said...

Wow, I'm dumbstruck. Very, very sorry to read of this news this morning; my best wishes & condolences to everyone who knew him (whether directly or only "virtually" as I did). I really enjoyed both his work & his words.

Debbie said...

Such a sad loss of talent and of a big sweet guy. I worked with him during "Santa vs the Snowman" and have enjoyed his hospitality at his Halloween parties. I will miss him.

chuck said...

My family and I are shocked and saddened.

Joe was a gentle, smart and very funny friend who loved to laugh. Whenever we would get together we would always laugh and laugh until we cried.

Such a loss. He was a great guy and one helluva talent. He lives on, in his large body of art and in all of our memories. His influence will echo forever , and in thousands of little ways he's stll with us.

Dave Clowers

Chris Jart said...

Oh no!! I'm so sorry for your loss. My condolences to his family and friends.

I only knew Joe online through our blogs, which both come from a "pop culture-monster-grew up in the 1970s" kind of stuff.

I throroughly enjoyed his posts and his art. I always loved the comments and interchanges we had on my blog. I'd been absent from blogging this year and due to Halloween had just gotten into it and looked forward to seeing what Joe was doing.

Wow, this is so sad. I really stunned. Joe will be missed.

Sherry said...

I was only introduced to Joe's artwork today through the Run Time newsletter. His artwork is fantastic and my thoughts go out to his family. May he live forever in art.

Jeff Pidgeon said...

I only knew Joe through his blog and never got to meet him in person. Still, I loved his artwork and his enthusiasm for pop culture. I was so sorry to hear of Joe's passing - my thoughts and prayers go out to Joe's loved ones.

Tom Dougherty said...

I'm just a reader who only knew him through this blog, but I felt as if I'd gotten to know just a little of him through his observations, interests and wit. Even though we were strangers, I know I'll miss him.

My condolences for everyone lucky enough to know him personally, and my best to his family and loved ones. Goodbye, Joe

allan cook said...

i just found out this tragic news today on november 12th. i met joe through his hypnotic eye show back in 19996, and have tried to remain in contact with him, but sometimes life has other plans. i will miss your humor and your creativity. the hypnotic eye was and is, the greatest cable access show ever...peace and love.

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